S.E. McKinley has a degree in physics and teaching and works as a teacher in a high school in Oklahoma, where he teaches physics, chemistry and advanced mathematics. He loves science fiction and fantasy and has numerous works of fiction in the pipeline. His influences are R.A. Salvatore and a number of british authors. This really means one thing...don't get attached to any characters, you never know how long they're going to last.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember as a child, just before going to kindergarten, my parents reading to me a book called Dolphins. I had them read me that little book every day for weeks. Then one day, I was pestering them to read it to me but they were all too busy just at that moment so I took it and started reading it out loud. At first they just thought I'd memorized it, but then I found a page that had been stuck together and started reading a page I'd never heard. Correctly. They stopped what they were doing and looked, thinking I'd made stuff up, but every word I said was printed there on the page. At that point they knew I could read, and the deal they made about telling everyone that I had learned to read made me realize that reading and writing were very important.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Tough question. My favorite non-fiction piece is A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I have a degree in physics and teach high school physics and have loved science since I can remember and this is one of the most important books written about science in a non-technical way. The Watchmen graphic novel is another favorite of mine. I love the different approach taken in showing superheroes and their psychology. The Shining by Stephen King is probably my top favorite. The story has it's creepy setting, and the plot twist of the man who should be savior being the one to be feared was only part of why I love it. The characters are so fully developed that you truly have an emotional connection to each of them, which is where the horror comes from in that book. Michael Crichton's The Lost World is another favorite. I love dinosaurs, I love books, and the way Crichton approached the various scientific fields in his book just drew me completely in. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers rounds out my list of five. It is one of those books that I gave up getting anywhere near enough sleep one night to finish. Just couldn't put it down. I paid for it the next day, but it was worth it.